Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) Failed to Bring Anything New to The Genre [Review]

This Jack Ryan’s reboot begins from the start, showing us the young Jack as a university student in London who joined US Marine after witnessing the 9/11 attack. His life as a Marine got cut short when his helicopter crash down and leaving him injured. During recovery he meet med student Cathy Muller who he clearly has a crush on, as well as got recruited by mysterious CIA agent Thomas Harper. Cut to next ten years, Jack is now working on Wall Street as an undercover CIA analyst who discovered Russian terrorist plan to destroy the US economy.

Kenneth Branagh’s attempt to revive Jack Ryan fall flat despite its attractive cast and at times thrilling espionage scenes. The film has many problems from loop holes, jumpy narratives to Keira Knightley’s weird accent and distress girlfriend role. I love political thriller and the film’s aim to present a fresh twist of terrorist activity (economy meltdown) is plausible, yet it doesn’t feel all that exciting.

Chris Pine suits the role as Jack Ryan, but his character development felt rush and confusing at times; they should have play the “rookie spy” card in my opinion. I can’t say bad things about Kevin Costner since he is the only character I like in the picture. The script, on the other hand, also materialise as dense and forgettable: it didn’t bring anything new to the espionage genre. The twist came way too late and the lousy action made me wish I am watching something else instead. And don’t get me started with our lead’s no-chemistry-zone either (seriously, are you two dating?). My only favourite moment is when Keira and Kenneth having dinner and the two were discussing Lermontov’s 1839 novel. Just like everyone else, I enjoy guilty pleasure action movies/spy thriller like Taken, Expendables or Mission Impossible 1,2,3,4, but yet Jack Ryan is none of the above.


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